Suunto 5 Peak review: warming up
The Suunto 5 Peak is the latest smartwatch from the Finnish company that aims to offer more choice within the crowded market that already includes heavy-hitters such as Garmin, Apple, and Fitbit.
We’ve had the Suunto 5 Peak for a few weeks to test. Suunto provided us with a loaner device for testing purposes, but this did not affect our opinion of the product.
Our reviews always remain independent of the manufacturer; the first time they see the study is when you read it. Could you keep reading to find out what we think?
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How do I get it, and what does it cost?
The Suunto 5 Peak is available now for $499.99. Black and Ridge Sand are your two color options in Australia.
If you think this GPS sports watch is for you, track them down from Bing Lee, The Good Guys, MYER, and Costco.
Who is it good for?
I was already quite impressed with the Suunto 9 Peak smartwatch we tested in September, and it continues with the cheaper Suunto 5 Peak.
It’s a beautiful smartwatch focusing on fitness with adaptive training guidance and heat maps. While the 9 Peak feels a bit sportier and more elegant due to its metal housing, the 5 Peak has a more sporty and stylish look.
For anyone with smaller wrists or just happy to have a less intrusive smartwatch – the 5 Peak is certainly not bulky either, weighing just 39 grams.
How does it work?
The Suunto 5 Peak doesn’t hide the buttons (there are five) and comes with a 1.1-inch color display. However, it is also not an AMOLED or LCD panel as you find on other watches from Samsung, Garmin, or Apple.
It also has a smaller screen than those of other manufacturers. Apple Watch Series 6 is 1.78-inch, and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 starts at 1.19-inch. A bezel around the screen can feel a bit like wasted space. And while the wearable still looks great, it can feel a bit like a missed opportunity to remove the black bezels around the outer edge of the display.
In direct sunlight, the Suunto 5 Peak is more than visible; when the lights go out, there is an LED backlight.
From Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch 4, Suunto 5 Peak lags when navigating the menu options. That may be intentional, but overall it feels a little too slow for my taste.
If you like swimming, you will be happy to hear that you can dive 30 meters deep and be sweet. There are also many features, including outdoor activity tracking via the integrated GPS, over 80 sports modes, an optical heart rate monitor, an altimeter, sleep tracking, stress levels, and weather information. It’s all covered.
And it tracked the activities like swimming and walking quite effectively. Another feature I’ve used quite a bit is navigation, where you can use the Suunto app on your phone to plan routes and see Suunto’s heat maps showing popular routes around you. While you won’t see the map on your wrist, it’s a simplified real-time version that works fine.
That said, if navigation is really important to you, look elsewhere.
Another area where the Suunto 5 Peak excels is the battery. I got a week out of the watch with GPS tracking turned on. You can extend the time between charges by switching to a different GPS mode. If the wearable detects that you’re using too much battery, it will remind you about the other available modes.
But as with all things, battery life is subjective and will depend on your activity and enabling features, such as continuous heart rate monitoring. But it will go a long way; excuse the pun.
What we think
Suunto 5 Peak fulfills all the requirements you want from a smartwatch to keep track of your fitness and outdoor activities.
There are a few things to consider, such as the responsiveness of the software as you navigate between menus and whether the payoff of longer battery life outweighs something another watch can offer with a faster interface.
You may not have to worry about the stamina the Suunto 5 Peak offers and the features available.